From 1d4chan

Any news on who is the present Ecclesiarch? Pilgrim of Terra (talk) 03:03, 29 November 2017 (UTC)

Decius XXIII Sieger (talk) 04:09, 29 November 2017 (UTC)

Incorrect, time has moved on from 3rd edition, and the year 945. The current Ecclesiarch is/was Baldo Slyst as of Guilliman's return to Terra in 999. I say "was" because the actual current date now is over a century after that and we dont know if Guilliman actually replaced him during the High Lords reshuffle, or even could replace the head of an Imperial agency rather than just give their Senatorum seat to a different organisation --Dark Angel 2020 (talk) 06:41, 29 November 2017 (UTC)

On the Ecclesiarchy[edit]

Also, it's very existence is banned by the Emperor and therefore is heresy. On top of that, the greatest problem is that the only way for the Imperial Cult to have gotten going was by random strangers standing on soap boxes shouting "I know the Emperor's will better than the High Lords, Space Marines, and Primarchs, and fuck what the Emperor himself decreed, I know better!" which really makes everyone with half a brain cell wonder how the hell this thing came to exist. Because face it, when you get someone (or a bunch of someones) claiming they know the will of X, no one is going to believe them. Well, almost no one (we do have crazy cults now, but they're just a few dozen to a few hundred people or so). See, real religions formed through their connection to pre-existing religions. For example, Christianity and Islam are descended from the Hebrews. This started from a family who was contacted by God and grew through breeding and marriage into a civilization over a very long time. The Imperial Cult didn't form by being connected to anything religious. It is essentially a cargo cult that formed in the heart of a deeply secular and scientific civilization. It could form, but it would never grow to more than a (relatively) small cult (which would then be destroyed for breaking a capital punishment law). Then there are the phonies claiming they had prophecies from the Emperor and so the masses should listen to them. But the thing is, people don't believe prophets until after their prophecy comes true. Because there is no proof of it and it is so easy to take advantage of people and humans are naturally extremely skeptical. In addition, the fact claiming to preach his word while ignoring his laws and decrees (especially ones that has gotten planets killed for disobeying isn't going to be ignored by the masses. People like that would be mocked for being heretics in their own religion and possibly arrested for sedition (claiming to speak for the Emperor when you're not a government official with the authority to do so is a severe crime). But, GW doesn't understand how these things work, so we have the Ecclesiarchy anyway. Oh, and the Emperor made worshipping him an capital offense punished by summary execution and he had a fuck ton of enforcers even back then plus the fanatical Astartes who have no problem blasting everyone worshipping him.

The Ecclesiarchy isn't 'banned' by the Emperor, if it was then it would've been destroyed by the Custodes and Living Saints a long time ago since they would've spoken out against it and had it forcibly shut down (not to mention anyone who visits the throne room, since despite what Dark Imperium claims people do rarely have audiences with the Emperor. Anyone who receives visions also would've acted against it). It also didn't start by some random people yelling that they knew better, it started initially with people believing the Emperor was a god despite his denials, which spread thanks to the Lectitio Divinatus (written by Lorgar who often philosophized about the nature and existence of gods), and was carried out in secret. Once everyone learned that the Imperial Truth was a load of shit, the early Ecclesiarchy began to pick up steam since the Imperial Truth left a vacuum to fill and there was a war hero who was proud to lead the charge in filling it. It actually did play a very important role in reunifying the Imperium and still plays a very important role in A) bringing new worlds into the Imperium's fold, B) re-integrating old worlds, C) providing a link between current worlds and the Imperium as a whole, acting as something to tie the Imperium together and D) creating anti-chaos weapons. In short if nothing else, the Ecclesiarchy is an extremely useful tool and its existence is overall a good thing, continuing to enforce the Imperial Truth would've led to the Imperium's destruction by now since it's incredibly easy to undermine and disprove, and after the Horus Heresy continuing its existence would've invited further disaster which is why they absolutely needed to change what they'd been doing. -- Triacom (talk) 05:51, 16 January 2019 (UTC)
The comparison to "real religions" also doesn't work, both in terms of scale and quality. The Imperium didn't just become religious overnight; it took a LONG time for what we recognise as the Ecclesiarchy to form. The Temple of the Saviour Emperor didn't come to power until somewhere in M32; There was an Ecclesiarch before this, but his views would not have represented an entire unified "Imperial Cult", as the Ecclesiarchy was a widely disparate, and loosely connected arrangement of cults and organisations, each with their own interpretation of the Emperor. So there was indeed a period of lots of people shouting at each other, trying to promote their viewpoint. That is over two thousand years after the Emperor was entombed on the Golden Throne, the Primarchs had long since departed or died, the Astartes had their own territories (which presumably remained atheist) and the Custodians had sequestered themselves to the palace since it was no longer "their" Imperium, so none of them could be counted upon to disagree with any degree of veracity. Christianity is barely even that old and we already have innumerable denominations, variations and doctrines of Christianity, many with radically varied ideas of what God tried to teach us, all based on the activities of a semi-historical figure (Jesus) that we cannot quite pin down to being factual or not; so imagine that spread out over a million planets each separated from central government with very little contact for centuries except the occasional tithe ship or merchant trader. It wasn't until M36 and lots of religious wars when the Temple managed to stamp out its competitor cults, where it was eventually replaced by the Confederation of Light in the Thorian Reformation that the Ecclesiarchy became a roughly unified whole, which is over three thousand years AFTER the Ecclesiarchy was formed and over six thousand years after the Emperor sacrificed himself for your sins. The current in-universe date is four thousand years after that... any attempt at comparing to real world religions needs to factor in the sheer timescales it took to get there: so what if it started with only one man? Thousands of years will give him a huge following.
Secondly, and quite possibly most importantly. "Faith" in the 40k universe is a very real thing; It is tangible and somewhat quantifiable. While it is extremely difficult to attribute the parting of the Red Sea, or healing the blind and lame to have been genuine events. In the 40k setting these things happen with recordable frequency in a universe which is technologically superior to Earth in the Iron/Bronze Age; It is very difficult to doubt the power of the Emperor when someone comes back from the dead and leads a crusade of millions of soldiers, or gets filmed on camera pulling some divine miracle. Yeah, the Emperor denied his own divinity during his lifetime, but give it a few centuries years after his absence (again, we cannot even agree on what Jesus said) and it becomes a whole lot easier to believe he is a god when presented with evidence of the rewards of faith. Coupled with the fact that if you don't believe in him, the alternative is to be tortured and consumed by the actual literal daemons of hell which provably exist in-universe. Yeah sure, some Imperial citizens didn't get the memo and are either avowed Atheists (such as most Space Marines, whose own traditions and history predates any Imperial Cult) or turned Apostate (such as those driven to the Chaos gods/xenos etc through desperation or promises). --Dark Angel 2020 (talk) 08:19, 16 January 2019 (UTC)
The Custodians are still a part of the Imperium, regardless of how often they stepped outside the palace and the reason I brought them up was primarily because of the Brides of the Emperor incident. If the Ecclesiarchy was not supposed to exist, then it wouldn't have existed after that point yet they still took Alicia Dominica into the throneroom and after that she was immediately on Sebastian Thor's side and helping with remaking the Ecclesiarchy, not dismantling it. I do agree with almost everything else you wrote, the one exception is in apostates which is only a technical detail, apostates are everyone who was a part of the Ecclesiarchy and left, not just Chaos worshippers (so it also applies to xenos prophets or missionaries taken in by Genestealer Cults for example). -- Triacom (talk) 08:49, 16 January 2019 (UTC)
I was actually agreeing with you and was highlighting how the Ecclesiarchy came about, and have corrected the Apostate example. In my opinion, organised Emps-worship was an inevitability, given that Emps-worship had already started during his lifetime, despite his efforts to stamp it out; it would could naturally grow after his "martyrdom" and when efforts to continue stamping it out ceased. My point about the Custodians not being a part of the Imperium is also a technicality, especially after the Emperor's plans were dashed. Their loyalty is to the Emperor exclusively over any Imperium which followed, and they enact His "will" whenever it suits them. (I personally don't think they got involved in the Reign of Blood out of any pro-Ecclesiarchy bias or the requirement to have any religion, I half expect they only got involved because the palace was under siege and they wanted a swift resolution and stability, rather than a repeat process of the same religious wars that brought them to that point.) In any case, prior to M32, the Captain-General wasn't on the council of High Lords, Beyreuth was the first. So they would have had little to no influence on the initial spread of the Imperial Cult. --Dark Angel 2020 (talk) 09:25, 16 January 2019 (UTC)
Don't worry, I figured that's what you were going for so I was trying to add to that. To touch again on the Custodes though, the Reign of Blood would've been the perfect time to crush the Ecclesiarchy, if the Emperor really wanted it gone then the Custodes and the sisters could've easily enforced his will. It no doubt would've been replaced in time with something else that would be more-or-less the same and had a shitshow of a transition in the meanwhile, which on its own is a great reason for not getting rid of it. -- Triacom (talk) 10:06, 16 January 2019 (UTC)